2017 Chain Winners

  1. Tommy Bahama. Yes, they have restaurants and serve margaritas. We love the one in Hawaii but mostly frequently the one in New York. And, yes, the margaritas are great. Just get the house margarita (its premium cost just like their shirts). PS – if you are shopping in the NYC store you can ask for one at checkout!
  2. Ritz Carlton. Okay, you are sitting in a Ritz Carlton and drinking a margarita – life cant’ be too bad. Sure, some of those stocks in your portfolio have tanked, but these margaritas make the pain fade quickly. Again, ask for the house margarita.
  3. PF Changs. We know, Chinese chain before a Mexican chain – what heresy! But many Mexican chains can be lazy, and these guys get it right most of the time. Ask for the Organic Agave margarita – it’s slipped off some of their menus in favor of tequila flights, so get the name right. It’s the lightest margarita we like and not too sweet.
  4. Chilli’s. Right from the beginning, Chilli’s has been committed to the margarita. We suggest an upgrade to the platinum or Cadillac as the house tequila can be a little rough. As a chain, Chilli’s has the most consistent quality we have found – so the bartender training ensures success.
  5. Jose Cuervo Tequileria. Flying these days is gruesome – somehow all the joy has been extracted from the process (it used to be considered a treat). Watching the long lines as Starbucks and McDonalds only adds to the depression. So, sitting down in a decent place, with a good 1800 margarita, at least makes the process bearable. Please do NOT get the house here, but focus on the 1800 version. It gets the job done.
  6. Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. There is no doubt location and branding help put this in our top 10. The Orlando spot is our favorite, singing along when “Margaritaville” comes on, but these are fine margaritas. After losing interest in their own house brand tequila (not good), the menu has solid choices. Always trade up from the house margarita and why not try something exotic, Jimmy would…
  7. Chevy’s Family Mexican Restaurant. You’ve been the good parent, sitting all day at the soccer or baseball field. Now you are with some of the parents and kids at Chevy’s. Why not reward yourself with their Cadillac Margarita. The kids are shouting and running around, but it’s all good by the second one.
  8. Tio Juan’s Margaritas Restaurant. Good solid margaritas, as one would hope given the name. We like the Naked lime best, with Hornitos, and it’s a few fewer calories for us. Have it with their Mexican corn and you almost feel like you are south of the border.
  9. On the Border. Speaking of which, this chain also provides solid margaritas. Try the Mexican Mojito, which we still view as a margarita gone metro.
  10. TGIFriday’s. Sturdy, solid and cheap – three words our wives used to describe us so we can’t fault Friday’s for their efforts. There’s a big difference between these and the poison Dave and Busters is trying to serve you.

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